Volunteers will no longer be able to talk with students at length about religion or politics in Marysville schools, located in Snohomish County, Washington. Superintendent Larry Nyland issued new guidelines recently that limit how much volunteers can discuss religion and politics with students. Nyland consulted with an attorney after a mother complained in March that a 19-year old volunteer at Totem Middle School had used MySpace to offer her 11-year old daughter a ride to church. The invitation caused friction between advocates for the separation of church and state and those who believe church volunteers, such as pastors and youth group leaders, are being unfairly targeted.
The Everett Herald reports the new guidelines allow volunteers to give brief answers if asked about their church. However, volunteers cannot promote religion, ask students for contact information or invite them to events.
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